Huffpost Media
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Eric Boehlert Headshot

Arlen Specter Gets First Taste of the GOP Noise Machine

Posted: Updated:

The most eye-opening event that unfolded in the wake of Specter's move was the completely new way in which the Senator got treated -- got abused, really -- by the Republican Noise Machine and how the vast array of right-wing media outlets that do the GOP's partisan bidding, laid into Specter by manufacturing a classic smear campaign thinly disguised as journalism, a smear campaign that held Specter up for public ridicule and mocked him as a heartless, opportunistic pol.

Democrats have watched that drill play out countless times in recent years. But it was revealing to watch Specter become the Noise Machine's target. Now that he's outside the shrinking GOP tent, Specter's fair game for whatever contrived and mean-spirited hoax conservative "journalists" can dream up.

And that's what the Washington Times, the Drudge Report, the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, and an army of online minions did. What they dreamt up was the idea that while appearing on CBS' Face the Nation, Specter blamed Republicans for Jack Kemp's recent death from cancer. That Specter had pointed a bloody and accusatory finger at the GOP and blamed it for "killing" Kemp.

The onslaught seemed to catch Specter and his communications team off guard, but this is what the Noise Machine does the when the bell rings and smear campaigns are launched; facts are discarded and the phony allegations actually get embellished through a gruesome game of telephone. (I heard Specter once threatened to beat up Kemp!)

Read the entire Media Matters column here.